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Italian restaurants are reopening plague-era ‘wine windows’ for coronavirus trade

“It’s kind of amazing, because people didn’t know about germs in those days,” said Mary Forrest, one of the founding members of the Associazione Buchette del Vino, or Wine Windows Association.

The association is a nonprofit established five years ago to document and protect the historic structures. “People didn’t know where the plague came from; they didn’t discover that till much later,” she says.

The windows fell out of fashion over the centuries, but the coronavirus outbreak has inspired their comeback. Businesses in Florence are opening their wine windows once again to sell wine, cocktails, gelato and coffee, Lonely Planet reported.

Police patrol outside the Colosseum in Rome.

Police patrol outside the Colosseum in Rome.Credit:AP

In May, Osteria Delle Brache restaurant and bar posted photos on its Facebook page of an employee passing an Aperol spritz through its wine window, marked with an Associazione Buchette del Vino bronze plaque confirming its authenticity. “We continue the traditions,” the post reads.

Forrest says she’s unsure whether the trend will be able to keep growing as many of the wine windows aren’t located on businesses, but in former palaces that are now offices and private family residences.

But whether wine windows continue to remain functional after the pandemic, travelers can admire them for their individuality.

“There aren’t any two alike, it seems,” Forrest says. “There’s this infinite variation in this very simple thing, and [it] makes you realize the human imagination knows no bounds.”

Washington Post

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